Mid Winter Turnips & Chili…for 1.28.2015

We’ve been quiet recently, hunkered down into our winter life. turnip
Vegetables in the high tunnel are going to continue, intermittently, to be available to CSA members, on Fall Line Farms (Richmond’s online farmers market with many convenient pick up spots around the area), and at Union Market in Church Hill. We harvest what we can, when we can, and then wait for the plants to grow some more until they can be harvested again. (We will return to the South of the James Farmers Market in March sometime, and the Brandermill Market in May when it re-opens.)
high tunnel salad
(Above: Lettuce growing in our high tunnel this week.) All the beds in the fields are in their dormant stage – we won’t be harvesting anything from the fields until after new plantings this spring.

So what’s a farm to do? Receive seed orders!
johnnys
Our most heartfelt appreciation goes out to all the amazing CSA members who have already paid into our farm for the 2015 season. This box of seeds comes with a hefty price tag, and we are able to buy seeds without borrowing money thanks to you! Our big soil amendment and supplies orders come in during the next couple of weeks. Again, the investment of CSA members has made that possible. We are so grateful for your prioritizing our work (and your food!) and for your faith in us as growers of your food.

Construction on the barn has continued at a frenetic pace. This week we have gotten our new walk in cooler framed and mostly insulated. We will be improving our wash-and-pack area and soon fully using the barn to wash, pack, and store your veggies. Next we will be putting up walls around the pick-up area of the barn, pretty it up, and have it ready for customers to pick up their vegetables this spring!

Winter allows us the time to get out more in the evenings and weekends, as the work days are shorter. We have been loving our community circles (led by our children’s activities, of course): acoustic music at the library, the children’s museum, swimming in the indoor pool, and a chili cook-off at our First UU Church.
chili contest
The theme for our chili entry was, not surprisingly, Local Organic Chili where all ingredients except the beans was from local, organic farms. Of the 16 entrants, ours was voted 1st place. We think excellent ingredients were the key! It was great, delicious fun, and now we have a 3 foot tall trophy in our house with a golden pot of chili on the top. (Not kidding. It is huge and flashy. Joren wants it to forever live on his dresser.) Perhaps it might find a home in the barn, where all customers can gaze on it. (Shhh…don’t tell Joren.)

This week’s Harvest includes:

Garlic, Sweet Hakurei Turnips, Pepper Jelly, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

**One change for 2015: CSA Ordering through our website will close at 8:00 am on the day before pick up. Thank you for ordering!

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

**Remember: 2014 Market Share CSA memberships have now ended. If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have access to our harvest before we start attending the farmers’ markets next year, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA seasonThough the main harvest season is still a way off, your investment now allows us the funds to purchase expensive start up supplies for 2015: fertilizers, soil amendments, seed, irrigation supplies, framing and insulation for our new walk-in cooler, etc.

**We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions.
 Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Wednesday at our farm or at Good Health Herbs.

**Anyone may order select goods from us, when available, through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month membership.

Our favorite farming conference is approaching! The annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31, which includes a session in which Dan is presenting about our grafted tomato trials.Tickets and more info here. We hope you will join us!

Winter Is…plus harvest for 1.10.2015

Business item first: After this weekend, for the rest of the foreseeable winter we are going to take orders from CSA members for pick up on Wednesdays – not Saturdays. (We will still deliver CSA orders to the Byrd Park area on Sundays.) Also, items that we have in quantities greater than our CSA members desire we are selling through Fall Line Farms – Richmond’s online farmers’ market. Pick up for this market is on Thursdays in many locations around metro Richmond. If you aren’t able to be a part of our CSA, we highly recommend that you shop through Fall Line. There is a membership fee, but you can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month membership. Check it out! high tunnel yukina asian spinach Now for our reflections on winter: Winter is harvesting yesterday anything that would not survive the deep cold of this morning. (Everything in our high tunnel did fine, but the greens that were still growing out in the field had to be cut.)

Winter is harvesting greens in the afternoon (as opposed to in the morning, as one must do in the warmer months) to avoid high nitrate levels found in winter greens in the morning hours.
microgreens

Winter is…
…realizing our heater in the walk-in “cooler” isn’t warm enough to keep it above freezing when it is 10 degrees outside.

…relaxed mornings around our wood stove, with no hurry to get outside and start work.
tunnel salad mix
…soaking up the afternoon sun, rather than shielding it.

…really, really cherishing hot bread, straight from the oven.
tunnel salad
…finishing up work by 5:00, time for an early and relaxed dinner as a family, and time for music and board games before bed.

…time for construction projects and fixing things. Pictured here is the new framing in the part of the barn that will be our new pick-up area/farm stand, plus the shadows of Janet and the new baby.
barn framing shadow
Winter is thanking you all for accepting this email delivered late, as we needed to wait until the highest temperature of the day to see how greens in the high tunnel fared. Stay warm, everyone!

This week’s Harvest includes:

Garlic, Hearty Mix, Microgreens, Radishes (red), Salad Mix, Spinach (asian), Pepper Jelly, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

**One change for 2015: CSA Ordering through our website will close at 8:00 am on the day before pick up. Thank you for ordering!

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

**Remember: 2014 Market Share CSA memberships have now ended. If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have access to our harvest before we start attending the farmers’ markets next year, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA season! Though the main harvest season is still a way off, your investment now allows us the funds to purchase expensive start up supplies for 2015: fertilizers, soil amendments, seed, irrigation supplies, framing and insulation for our new walk-in cooler, etc.

**We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions.
 Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Saturday at our farm or at Good Health Herbs, or on Sunday at the UU Church, adjacent to Byrd Park (details on the ordering page).

**Anyone may order select goods from us through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month membership.

Our favorite farming conference is approaching! The annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31, which includes a session in which Dan is presenting about our grafted tomato trials.Tickets and more info here. We hope you will join us!

 

A Farmer Story for the New Year…orders for 1.3.2015

A story for you today from our “Farmers about the town” series. Last week during our weekly trip to the grocery store, a lovely young man wheeled our purchases out to the parking lot for us.
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Sometimes people think that because we farm vegetables we never need to go to the grocery store. Rest assured, we don’t provide for all of our needs here. We don’t purchase vegetables, meat, milk, coffee, eggs, or yogurt at the grocery. But we sure do need flour, beans, butter, coffee filters, dishwasher detergent, chocolate chips…
barn 2015.1.1
The usual grocery trip these days is Janet with the four children, and so compassion usually runs high during these trips: people make way for us in the aisles. We receive extra help in the check out line. We have caring people help load our bags in the car. This brings us to the story of note: While approaching our vehicle, our grocery bagger noted the references to farms and organic farming on the back of our minivan. (We are a bit shameless in our love for organic farming bumper stickers and magnets.) He asked “What’s with the farm stuff?” I, Janet, replied proudly: “We operate a vegetable farm! We make our living growing vegetables!” I admit that I get excited to share with young people that it is indeed a professional possibility to farm vegetables. Usually these youth respond with amazement or curiosity, even if only to be polite to me. But this young fellow surprised me. He, being the compassionate one, providing assistance to this mother who was strapped with children and grocery bags, immediately began a conciliatory response. He said “Hey, that’s okay. Everybody’s gotta have a job doing something. So your a farmer for now. Look at me – I’m bagging groceries.”
barn front 2015.1.1
With that, he gave me a reassuring smile, certain that my future held brighter things than vegetable farming. I thanked him deeply for his help with the cart and the grocery bags and the back gate of the minivan that is hard to reach and close while holding two children. I returned his reassuring smile. He ambled away, whistling while pushing the carts back into the storefront.
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Indeed, he’s not a lifelong grocery bagger at heart. I’m sure he will pursue his dreams beyond the grocery store. I refrained from telling him that our farm is the result of many years of planning, sacrifice, and determination. I did not explain to him how it is the dream we have pursued. He assumed farming is something we were settling for – perhaps forced into out of a lack of other options. I did not reveal that growing organic vegetables is our passion and most rewarding professional pursuit. It really wasn’t the right moment for me to pontificate on all that. But I just might seek him out over the next couple of months and invite him to our spring farm tour. I’m hopelessly optimistic that we can convince everyone of the worth and beauty of what we do during a farm tour.
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This week’s Harvest includes:

Carrots, Garlic, Microgreens, Salad Mix, Pepper Jelly, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

**One change for 2015: CSA Ordering through our website will close at 8:00 am on the day before delivery. Thank you for ordering!

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

**Remember: 2014 Market Share CSA memberships have now ended. Pre-ordering of our harvest and bread is exclusively for Market Share CSA members. If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have access to our harvest before we start attending the farmers’ markets next year, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA season! Though the main harvest season is still a way off, your investment now allows us the funds to purchase expensive start up supplies for 2015: fertilizers, soil amendments, seed, irrigation supplies, framing and insulation for our new walk-in cooler, etc.

**We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions.
 Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Saturday at our farm or at Good Health Herbs, or on Sunday at the UU Church, adjacent to Byrd Park (details on the ordering page).

Our favorite farming conference is approaching! The annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31, which includes a session in which Dan is presenting about our grafted tomato trials.Tickets and more info here. We hope you will join us!

Merry Christmas!…lots to order for 12.27.2014

Your Broadfork family wishes you a wonderful Christmas day!
kids 2014-12-24
family 2014-12-24
(We cleaned up for an evening with grandparents. The world might stop spinning if we get a photo of all 6 of us looking at the camera and smiling!)
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In this late December warm spell, we are taking stock of what is growing and how well, reviewing the seed inventory, trying not to get discouraged by how long the winter to-do list is, and also enjoying the way the short days limit the work.
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We are also studying. Reading, testing, learning. We got access to a microscope and a recent soil biology workshop we attended now has us taking various types of compost samples and putting them under the microscope for examination. Our children are perhaps in the minority the way “micorrhizal fungi” and “nematodes” enter their kindergarten and second grade vocabulary lists. It is an educational journey that we are on together – us adults are still navigating the view of what is on the slide. All of these microscopic creatures…which ones tell us our soils are ideal for plant health? How again to tweak microbial life to bump up our plant health another notch?  DSC_0006 At dusk on Christmas eve, two of us slipped outside, into the world drenched from the past days of rain, down to the high tunnel to sneak a first cutting of the salad growing there. Then on into the greenhouse for some snips of pea shoots. Oh, the indulgences we enjoy as professional vegetable growers! We brought these along with us for dinner with grandparents and my, oh my – it is delicious salad.
DSC_0001This week’s Harvest includes:

Arugula, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Chard, Garlic, Kale, Lettuce Mix, Microgreens, Salad Mix, Pepper Jelly, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

**Remember: 2014 Market Share CSA members’ balances will expire 12-31-2014 – and this is our last harvest/order for 2014. Pre-ordering of our harvest and bread is exclusively for Market Share CSA members. If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have access to our harvest before we start attending the farmers’ markets next year, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA season! Your investment now allows us the funds to purchase fertilizers, soil amendments, seed, and supplies for the 2015 season.

**We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions.
 Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

2014 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Saturday at our farm or at Good Health Herbs, or on Sunday at the UU Church, adjacent to Byrd Park (details on the ordering page).

Our favorite farming conference is approaching! The annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31, which includes a session in which Dan is presenting about our grafted tomato trials.Tickets and more info here. We hope you will join us!

As the Light Returns…for 12.24.2014

Winter has officially begun. Daylight hours are beginning to lengthen again, but the real winter weather is still ahead of us. This time of year so beautifully lends itself to reflecting on the past and future, cherishing time with loved ones, and meditating on the gratitude we feel for all of the richness in our lives. Thank you for being part of this experience!

This is also the time of year (for us) to rest and recover. On the recovery front, we still need some time to heal after recent doc appointments. Accordingly, we have our Bread, garlic, etc. available for CSA members to order for pick up on Wednesday. We anticipate having salad, microgreens, brussels sprouts, and carrots available to order later this week (pick up on Saturday).
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Remember: 2014 Market Share CSA members’ balances will expire 12-31-2014. Pre-ordering of our harvest and bread is exclusively for Market Share CSA members. If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have access to our harvest before we start attending the farmers’ markets next year, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA season! Your investment now allows us the funds to purchase fertilizers, soil amendments, seed, and supplies for the 2015 season.
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We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions. Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.

This week’s offering includes:

Garlic, Pepper Jelly, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

2014 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Wednesday at our farm or at Good Health Herbs.

Our favorite farming conference is approaching! The annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31, which includes a session in which Dan is presenting about our grafted tomato trials.Tickets and more info here. We hope you will join us!

Final Harvest for 2014…orders for 12.17.2014

As the amount of daylight continues to decrease, we are looking forward to the upcoming Winter Solstice. The longest night of the year marks the shift in the earth, tilting us in the northern hemisphere back toward the sun. DSC_0095
Winter will just get started, but the tilt toward the full swing of the 2015 season will be underway.
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As we prepare for the darkest time of the year, we will step away from our normal schedule of picking and preparing produce for you. We are also using this time of year for a little medical maintenance – therefore needing to physically lay low for a while. (This involves doctors appointments, but no need for worry. We promise.) Thus, we are taking orders from Market Share CSA members for pick up this WEDNESDAY but will not be able to be at market or prepare produce orders for pick up this coming Saturday. Next week sees Christmas Eve on Wednesday. We will email all on Monday with what we are able to pick and fill for orders on Wednesday for pick up at the farm. (This will be a great chance to order bread for your holiday meal, and get a gift box of our preserved goods!)
DSC_0045gift box
For the rest of the winter, we will continue to send out emails, letting you know what we are doing, what is growing, and how you can enjoy this delicious food.
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Remember: 2014 Market Share CSA members’ balances will expire 12-31-2014. Pre-ordering of our harvest and bread is exclusively for Market Share CSA members. If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have access to our harvest before we start attending the farmers’ markets next year, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA season! Your investment now allows us the funds to purchase fertilizers, soil amendments, seed, and supplies for the 2015 season.
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We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions. Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.

This week’s Harvest includes:

Our Farm Share Bag (consisting of a farmers’ choice medley of produce, in one easy to order option), Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage (mini savoy and chinese), Carrots, Collards, Garlic, Microgreens, Radish (watermelon), Salad Mix, …plus our Gift Box of jelly and salsa, Pepper Jelly, Salsa, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

2014 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Wednesday at our farm or at Good Health Herbs.

Our favorite farming conference is approaching! The annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31, which includes a session in which Dan is presenting about our grafted tomato trials.Tickets and more info here. We hope you will join us!

The look of early winter…for 12.13.2014

Does this look like the greenhouse of a farm at rest for the winter?DSC_0057

There are still a lot of plants growing around here, albeit slowly. We are slightly at rest – the cold and the limited sunlight naturally limits what we have to work with and our time available for working.
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It is reassuring to look at our rows and know that the cycle of the year is moving along like it should. Vegetable matter is breaking down, feeding the biology in the soil. Compost piles are continuing to make compost.
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Cold, rainy days allow for research and planning work on the computer, (while the less fun work of preparing for our tax return looms). Weather-appropriate days allow work on finishing out interior areas of the barn. (We now have lighting in our new wash and pack area! Still ahead: building the new walk-in cooler, building out the new pick-up area/farm-stand, plus the kitchen.)
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Brussels sprouts come into their glory this time of year. (And we do mean glory!) We love them prepared with carmelized onions and bacon. DSC_0059
We have also continued to pay some much-needed attention to our orchard. We have 30 trees of different varieties. We don’t have any commercial aspiration for these – we aim to provide organically raised tree fruit for our family and provide an example for people to learn about holistic orchard management. (We’ll put in a plug here for the annual Va Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31. The famous Michael Phillips will be presenting about orchard management! See link below.)
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For our microgreens fans, we’ve started including pea shoots in the mix. We are finding it delicious. Also available this week is our watermelon radishes. Delicious!
sylvie watermelon radish
Business notes:
- Sign up is now open for our 2015 CSA season! Your investment now allows us the funds to purchase fertilizer and seed for the 2015 season. 
- We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions. Please share this link with anyone you think may be interested.

This week’s Harvest includes:

Our Farm Share Bag (consisting of a farmers’ choice medley of produce, in one easy to order option), Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage (mini savoy), Carrots, Chard, Garlic, Lettuce, Microgreens, Radish (watermelon), Salad Mix, …plus our Gift Box of jelly and salsa, Pepper Jelly, Salsa, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

**

We attend one farmers’ markets this Saturday: South of the James in Forest Hill Park, from 8am – 12pm. This is our last Saturday market of the season! We likely won’t return until March 2015.

2014 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Saturday at our farm, or at the South of the James Market in Forest Hill Park.

Our favorite farming conference is approaching! The annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31, which includes a session in which Dan is presenting about our grafted tomato trials.Tickets and more info here. We hope you will join us!